Right Time Right Place by Robert Rutöd


“I feel more affinity to anarchy and contradiction than to reason and sense. For that hundredth of a second, the protagonists in my photographs are my comrades-in-arms.

“Actually, it was not a photographer who inspired me into taking up photography. It was the photos of the Belgian painter, René Magritte and the writer Paul Nougé, whom I came across at the age of 16 or 17. The poetry and subversive power in these images electrified me immediately.”

Robert Rutöd, born in Vienna, lives in Austria. Photographer and filmmaker. Made numerous short feature films with screenings worldwide. Photographic work exhibited throughout Europe, the United States and Asia. Winner of the New York Photo Award 2012 in the category Fine Art. Books: Less Is More (2009), grayscales. early b&w photographs (2010), Right Time Right Place (2012), Milky Way (2013).

 Right Time Right Place

“People are unhappy because they don’t know that they’re happy.“ (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)

Being at the right place at the right time is usually associated with happiness and success. But what happens when we are at the right place at the wrong time? Do we even know that this is the right place? And what if it turns out that it is the wrong place after all? But the right time!

“Right Time Right Place” is a collection of photographs I made in the last five years on my travels through Europe. The images revolve around the question of whether it is possible for a person to be in the right place at the right time. Is the ideal state of space and time something we are awarded or is it a state we have long been living in without being aware of our good fortune?

I hope I have not succeeded in answering this question. Nothing fails more pathetically than an artist’s attempt to explain the world and its relationships. Rather, my work leads to the conclusion that the world cannot be explained. Once an exhibition visitor in New York told me that, when viewing my photos, she felt that the protagonists seemed to be disobedient. I really liked that interpretation.


„What Robert Rutöd brings to the contemporary photographic dialogue is that intangible ability to see the world with a skewed lens – a lens that is compassionate and at the same time, unkind. It is a lens that is the stuff of operas and nightmares, comedies and slapstick. Robert finds that split second of humor or truth telling and that instant of social documentation or absurdity that makes us not only laugh at ourselves, but also laugh and feel embarrassed all at the same time. Or should I say, at The Right Time.“ (Aline Smithson, from the foreword to the book „Right Time Right Place“) [Official Website]

“Right Time Right Place” was awarded the Special Prize of the Czech Center of Photography at the Photo Annual Awards 2012. A photo from the series won the New York Photo Award 2012 in the category Fine Art.

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